Skip to content

Alberta police watchdog says RCMP justified in deadly shooting of man armed with bow

Alberta's police watchdog says RCMP officers were justified in shooting an armed man outside a hospital in 2021. The RCMP logo is seen outside the force's 'E' division headquarters in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

RED DEER, Alta. — Alberta's police watchdog says RCMP officers were justified in the fatal shooting a man who was armed with a compound bow and arrows outside a hospital in 2021. 

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team said officers in Red Deer, Alta., fired 28 shots at the 46-year-old man.

Mounties were responding to reports of an erratic driver, who ended up in a hospital parking lot. The man and officers got out of the vehicles. 

The man refused to surrender his bow and was shot by several officers when he moved toward them and raised the bow in their direction, the agency said. 

"He moved towards the officers and brought the bow up to a shooting stance, with it directed at several of the back-up subject officers," said the report released Friday. 

"All five subject officers then discharged their respective firearms. A total of 28 rounds (27 9-mm rounds and one round of .223) were fired."

ASIRT executive director Mike Ewenson wrote in the report that although the loss of life was unfortunate, the man presented a threat to public safety and as a result, the police use of force was lawful. 

"Force intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm is justified if the officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that the force was necessary to prevent the death or grievous bodily harm of the officer and/or any other person," he said.

"A compound bow is often used for hunting purposes and is capable of killing a large animal." 

Ewenson said the officers were acting properly in the execution of their duties. He said there's no evidence to support any belief their actions were unlawful or unreasonable and the file is closed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2023.

The Canadian Press

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks